Participatory Web 2.0 for development in short Web2forDev is a way of employing web services, in order to improve information sharing and collaborative production of content in the context of development. Through the use of Web 2.0, development actors can easily relate to peers and other stakeholders, strengthen networks, have selective access to information, produce and publish their own content and redistribute content released by others. They can integrate, combine, aggregate, generate, moderate and mediate content. In a typical Web2forDev scenario data and/or functionalities from a number of free/low cost online applications are combined and served as mashups thus ensuring a wide range of online services at low cost.
CTA is investing resources in the supporting widespread adoption and institutionalization of Web2.0 in order to strengthen actors operating in the agricultural sectors.
Examples of Web 2.0 applications include RSS, VoIP (Skype), blogs, video / photo sharing sites and the entire Social Media family (Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Dgroups, Foursquare, Whatsapp, Viber, etc.) which is accessible via fixed and mobile devices.
The term Web2forDev was first used at the Web2forDev International Conference organized by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) and other development partners in Rome at FAO in September 2007. The event was organised by CTA in collaboration with The Association for Progressive Communications, The ACP Secretariat, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, Euforic, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH, International Fund for Agricultural Development, International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD), University of British Columbia and Université Cheikh Anta Diop.
Web 2.0 rests on technologies which include open source or proprietary, free or low-cost, interactive, user-centered, fixed and mobile platforms that promote communication, online collaboration, sharing information, user empowerment, and social networking.
Social media are part of the Web 2.0 and are centered around easy-to-use platforms that allow users to generate and share content and build communities. Prior to LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, one could email an interesting piece of content to friends and colleagues. Web 2.0 and social media, however, simplified this process right down to a mouse click.
Web 2.0 came first and Social Media have grown out of it. Thus Social Media are part of Web 2.0 and include the more interactive, community-centered, socially-targeted components of Web 2.0.
Thanks to Web 2.0 And Social Media agriculture and rural development are able to better manage their professional networks , better access technical and strategic information and communicate more efficiently. All this supports the development of effective commodity value chains and helps give a voice to grassroots in the policy development arena.